The Atlanta Braves stayed in Georgia for their second pick, by selecting left-handed pitcher Alex Wood, a senior from the University of Georgia. Wood has electric stuff, but with a funky delivery ... that has never scared the Braves away from a draft pick, and it doesn't here. Here is the MLB Scouting video on him:
And here is what Baseball America had to say about Wood when they ranked him the 54th overall prospect in this year's draft:
Scouts can't recall a delivery quite like Wood's. When he lands on his right (lead) leg, he hops backward. It's odd to watch and will be difficult for pro pitching coaches to avoid changing. Still, he does a lot of good things, starting with his fastball. He has excellent velocity for a lefthander, touching 95-96 mph regularly and sitting in the 89-94 range. He throws a lot of strikes with his heater, showing the ability to locate it to both sides of the plate. When he's filling up the zone with his fastball, he's able to set up his changeup, his favorite pitch and a solid-average offering. His slider is a below-average pitch, and he has never shown much of a feel for spinning a breaking ball. A redshirt sophomore, Wood has had Tommy John surgery already, and between that and his delivery, he creates a wide diversity of opinion. But power lefthanders who throw strikes and perform in the Southeastern Conference (6-1, 2.64, 82 IP, 81-19 SO-BB) usually don't last long on draft day.
Obviously the funky delivery scared some teams away, which is why the Braves were able to nab him with the 85th pick. This continues the high risk, high reward draft for the Braves. I like this approach so far in a draft that is reportedly thin at the top.
Keith Law ranked Wood the 61st best prospect on his top-100 draft prospects, so whichever way you slice it this looks like excellent value for the Braves.
Here is a link to video of Wood pitching earlier this year. The delivery is not that funky, it is a bit weird because he's more over the top in his delivery, and very windmill-like (official scouting term, no doubt).
Alex Wood is on Twitter, you can follow him @Awood45.